The medicalisation of girls and boys who do not conform to gender stereotypes will be the next big medical scandal. While in Italy everything is still shrouded in an unbearable silence -how long can the health authorities turn a blind eye? elsewhere the boil is bursting.
We have dealt several times with the stop the medicalisation of children in countries that have been pioneers in introducing gender identity, such as Sweden, Finland, Australia. Today we update you on the recent developments in the UK and Norway, that go in the direction of setting limits to this profitable branch of the healthcare industry.
E also in the USA of Biden -that instead pushes for the early medicalisation of children who do not conform to female and male stereotypes - the first lawyers are already appearing (see here, here e here) specialising in malpractice suits against the gender clinics, accused by former patients (mostly young women) of steering them into treatments and operations with very serious health consequences at an age when they could not understand.
UK. HEALTH MINISTER'S ENQUIRY INTO HORMONES IN CHILDREN
Sajid Javid, current Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs of the United Kingdom, announced an urgent investigation into hormone treatments for girls and boys offered by the NHS. The enquiry wants to ensure that NHS treatment is in the best interests of young patients, and that opposite-sex hormones and other drugs with heavy side effects are not prescribed to 'vulnerable children'.
The Times summarises Javid's statements as follows: 'The health secretary of Westminster thinks the system is 'failing the children'. and is planning a review of how health service staff deal with under-18s who question their gender identity' (full article here).
The decision comes after the interim report of the Cass Review, a independent evaluation of treatments for children with gender dysphoria offered by the NHS directed by the Dr Hilary Dawn Cass, former President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and consultant in paediatric disability at St Thomas' Hospital in London.
La interim report pointed out that "there is insufficient evidence on the effectiveness of the affirmative model (hormones immediately, without psychological exploration, Editor's note)'. It goes on to say: 'Puberty blockers, rather than acting as a 'pause button' to allow children to explore their identity, appear to be steering them towards a medicalised treatment pathway'.
According to the Times, the British Department of Health is reportedly preparing legal changes which would give the Cass Commission access to data on dysphoric children treated by the NHS to see how many later regretted the treatment. The urgent enquiry - which will form part of the final report - indicates the will to make the NHS change its approach to child transition immediately.
UK. GPS PAID FOR EVERY HORMONE PRESCRIPTION
At the beginning of April, the following came into force in the Sussex region, a scheme whereby GPs are compensated for each prescription of hormones to patients who identify as transgenderinitiated by the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, the NHS body responsible for health services for the local population.
Under the programme, GPs in Sussex will receive £178 per year per adult patient prescribed 'cross-hormone therapy'. They will also be able to charge an additional £91 per year to provide an annual check-up for a transgender, non-binary or intersex (TNBI) patient. GPs who want to join the programme must follow a two-and-a-half hour online training course on transgender health care. In addition, in order to receive payments, participating clinics will be required to compile a register of patients considered TNBI.
The Times quoting an official document according to which the aim of the programme would be "to provide 'interim support' to patients on the waiting list for the gender clinics and 'improve access' to hormone therapy. The document adds that any decision to start hormone therapy is 'at the discretion of the individual family doctor'" (full article HERE).
However, they arrived criticism from family doctors and also from some trans rights activists, Concerned that the programme could lead to doctors providing medication without adequate psychological support for patients and put an additional burden on GPs.
The Times heard Debbie Hayton, trans rights activist who made the transition in 2012. Hayton questioned the level of psychological support provided by the programme. "When I transitioned, I talked to a therapist one hour a week for months," she said. "It was what I needed to understand myself. An annual check-up is but a pale shadow in comparison."
In addition, the Times reports Zara Aziz, a GP in Bristol. "It seems that ... this [task] has been dumped on GPs with a training package and away," she said, hinting at concerns about the burden of responsibility that accompanies hormone prescribing. The latest judgement on Keira Bell's case (see here) clarified that the responsibility for assessing the patient lies with the doctor and not with the judge. or other figure.
With this programme, in Sussex civil and criminal liability will no longer fall on the 'specialists' of the gender clinicsbut on family doctors. And it is understandable that the latter want to protect themselves, given the not insignificant increase in cases of detransition. -that is, patients who recover from gender dysphoria and return to feeling good in their bodies as women or men.
NORWAY. STOP THE LIBERALISATION OF HORMONES AND PUBERTY BLOCKERS
In Norway, the following have been published new national guidelines on the treatment of children with gender dysphoria, that put end the liberalisation of hormones and puberty blockers to minors, by stipulating that they can only be prescribed after a careful psychological assessment of the patient in centres specialised in the treatment of gender dysphoria.
The country is rightfully among the "Pioneer countries of gender identity, having introduced the model of self-ID - gender self-determination - as early as 2016, without a medical assessment and with a very simple bureaucratic process. "Norwegians can now legally change sex at the click of a mouse," titled then the Associated Press.
Norwegian law allows children from the age of 6 onwards to change their sex on documents according to their 'gender identity'.
However, until 2020, the medicalisation of minors was stricter than registry sex change: drugs could only be legally prescribed by the National Clinic for Transsexualism (NBTS) at the Rikshospitalet (National Hospital) in Oslo.
The 2020 guidelines, heavily influenced by LGBTQ interest groups, were intended to make it "easier to get gender-affirming treatment, inter alia by establishing more offers around Norway': they authorised the 'transgender medicine' departments of local hospitals, which until then had only provided psychiatric assessment and treatment, to prescribe hormones and perform surgery as a treatment for gender dysphoria.
"They have liberalised access to treatment that is irreversible and has important consequences, without having an adequate knowledge base. This in itself is unjustifiable," said Pål Surén, a paediatrician at the Public Health Institute (FHI), joining the criticism from Rikshospitalet and the Norwegian Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
After the publication of the new guidelines, the debate continues between the cautious and the 'affirmative' sides, represented by the Health Clinic for Gender and Sexuality (HKS), the Rikshospitalet's main 'competitor' for transgender healthcare (see this article).
In Norway too, therefore, it is a question of setting limits on the lucrative transition health industry.especially in cases where children and adolescents are affected.
WAR IN THE USA: THE CASE OF ALABAMA
Meanwhile In the USA, the war continues between the Biden administration, which supports trans-affirmative drug treatment for minors, and the Republican governors of some states.
The The Justice Department attacked an Alabama law that makes it a crime for doctors to treat transgender people under the age of 19 with puberty blockers and hormones. The law is expected to come into force on 8 May (the news here).
The department had already sent a letter to all 50 state attorneys general warning that preventing transgender and non-binary youth from receiving gender-affirming treatment could be a violation of federal constitutional protections. But Alabama Republicans who supported the bill said. it is necessary to protect children.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall stated that "the Biden administration has chosen to prioritise left-wing politics at the expense of Alabama's children. As we will show, the Justice Department's assertion that these treatments are 'medically necessary' is a disinformation based on ideology. Science and common sense are on Alabama's side. We will win this battle to protect our children."